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Stradella, Alessandro


Baroque composer of opera and sacred music; b. Montefestino, Italy, 1642; d. Genoa, Feb. 25?, 1682. Much obscurity and legend surround the events of his life. He seems to have studied at Modena and at various times to have been active in Rome, Venice, Turin, and Genoa; but he did not hold a continuous position in any one place. An amorous liaison in Venice resulted (1677) in his being wounded by order of the woman's family. He later was assassinated in Genoa; the causes of his murder are uncertain. As a musician he was industrious and serious, and may rightly be considered the most progressive dramatic composer of the mid-17th century, the link between the Venetian school of cavalli and the Neapolitan school of A. scarlatti. Among his compositions are operas and oratorios, numerous chamber and church sonatas, serenatas, and instrumental sonatas that resemble the early concerto in form and style. His oratorio La Forza dell'amor paterno (Genoa 1678; new ed. 1931) is considered his masterpiece by A. Gentili, who discovered the score in Turin in 1927.

Bibliography: o. h. jander, A Catalogue of the Manuscripts of Compositions by Alessandro Stradella Found in European and American Libraries (Wellesley, Mass. 1960). a. gentili, Alessandro Stradella (Turin 1936). r. giazotto, Vita di A. Stradella, 2 v. (Milan 1962). g. roncaglia, Le composizioni strumentali di A. Stradella (Milan 1942), repr. from Estratto dalla Rivista musicale italiana 46.1 (1942) 5788. s. goddard Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. e. blom 9 v. (5th ed. London 1954) 8:106107. m. f. bukofzer, Music in the Baroque Era (New York 1947). a. j. b. hutchings, The Baroque Concerto (New York 1961). o. h. jander, Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, ed. f. blume (Kassel-Basel 1949) 12: 141822. k. a. chaikin, "The Solo Cantatas of Alessandro Stradella (16441682)" (Ph.D. diss. Stanford University, 1975). h. dietz, "Musikalische Struktur und Architektur im Werke Alessandro Stradellas," Analecta Musicologica 9 (1970), 7893. c. gianturco, "Alessandro Stradella" in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, vol. 18, ed. s. sadie (New York 1980) 188193; Alessandro Stradella (16391682), His Life and Music (Oxford 1994). o. hughes jander, "The Minor Dramatic Works of Alessandro Stradella" (Ph.D. diss. Harvard University, 1963). d. m. randel, ed., The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music (Cambridge 1996) 874. n. slonimsky, ed., Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, Eighth Edition (New York 1992) 1798.

[f. j. guentner]

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